Crockery library plans progress

Crockery Township residents may soon be entering a new chapter in library services.
Marie Havenga
Jan 25, 2014

Crockery Township is not part of the Spring Lake library district. At present, only Spring Lake Township and Spring Lake Village make up the district.

As nonresidents, Crockery Township residents must pay $88 per library card for limited services at Spring Lake District Library. Those services do not include inter-library loans, e-books or other digital services.

The grassroots Crockery Library Readers group approached the township and library late last year about setting up services, and those talks are progressing toward a ballot proposal.

The library board last week informed Crockery Township officials of their willingness to allow township residents access to full library services in exchange for a 0.5-mill levy to fund operating expenses, ongoing penal fines, state aid and $86,750 of escrowed penal fines. The library board appears willing to enter into a five-year agreement under those terms, but township officials want a longer contract.

“We asked for 20 years and they came back and said five,” Township Supervisor Leon Stille said. “We came back and said we need at least 10. That item has not been resolved.”

Stille said he also prefers that the escrowed penal fees that are in the hands of the county treasurer be spread out over the length of the contract.

If library and township officials can iron out the differences, the 0.5-mill request could appear on the November ballot, according to Stille.

Originally, the Crockery Library Readers group was under the impression residents could have full library services for a third of a mill tax, but that is the minimum amount required by the Lakeland Library Cooperative. The 0.5 mill, a number reached by the library board, reflects a more accurate cost of the service, according to Stille.

If voters approve the proposal, the millage would generate about $68,000 a year, Stille said. State aid would bring in about $2,000 a year and penal fines another $13,000.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

 

Comments

christopher

Disappointed that the Spring Lake Township residents are having to pay a higher tax rate for the library than Crockery Township residents will have to. While I applaud Crockery for wanting to cut as good a deal as possible, it will certainly make me second guess any increases or renewals for Spring Lake in the future. In equality is certainly a problem here.

SLmomx3

Christopher, I cannot agree more. The board should be recognizing that it is the SL residents that voted for and are paying for this library. I feel like the library board is not respecting its residents or their wallets by allowing Crockery to pay MUCH less. I've been paying $500 a year for 8 years and now they want to let Crockery residents join for a fraction of the SL mileage. I understand that .5 mils from Crockery helps their budget but what about fairness to the residents. If Crockery would come on board with an equal mileage rate, I'd welcome them. Why should SL be paying more and others enjoy the same benefit for less? Doesn't surprise me though, why wouldn't the board take any extra money they can get? Come the next vote, I too will question increases or renewals.

Here is an idea: have Crockery join at the same mileage rate and shorten the time SL residents have to pay off the previous building debt? Now, that would make SL residents happy.

christopher

@slmomx3 I would also be willing to consider a scenario where Spring Lake residents are given some type of tax relief based on the additional income from a new municipality. I understand that with new patrons there will likely be new expenses and the need for additional revenue ... but this just smells all over.

There is actually a small part of me that feels late joiners should actually pay a higher tax rate. It is Spring Lake residents that have long paid to support the library.

Don't get me wrong . . . I am ALL FOR allowing others to use the library. I do want to share our gem of a facility. However, this is NOT the right way to do it. Sorry.

polarize

I would think that the more people who pay into the service should lower the cost per person which should benefit everyone since much of the Spring Lake Library overhead are fixed expenses.

Although I admit not knowing a whole lot of details here it would be nice for Crockery residents to benefit from library services again especially since much of the township is also served by the Spring Lake school district.

Fair to me seems that if Crockery residents can access full library services at .5 mils then Spring Lake taxpayers should see some kind of reduction on the operating expense. Aside from that, it is still fair the Spring Lake residents should pay for the building millage since they own it. Crockery residents are proposing to pay for services which is completely different from owning it.

LeonStille

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks.

bigdeal

the trib allows someone to use someone else's real name? WTH?

LessThanAmused

Hit the inappropriate button. Maybe someone will come, or, maybe not. Barry Soetoro ring a bell?

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